First Published: 2004-10-14

 
Spain urges new UN resolution on WSahara
 

Spanish FM says new UN resolution on Western Sahara should restart process of resolving its status.

 

Middle East Online

Madrid trying to help find a solution to Western Sahara issue

TANGIERS, Morocco - A new UN resolution on Western Sahara should give new impetus to efforts to finally resolve the status of the former Spanish territory that was annexed by Morocco in 1975, Spanish Foreign Minister Angel Moratinos said Wednesday.

"It won't be easy, certain parties want to keep the resolution more technical. But we want a resolution that gathers as much of a consensus as possible and allows the United Nations ... to work towards relaunching the process" of resolving the status of Western Sahara, he said.

Morocco annexed neighboring Western Sahara on its independence from Spain in 1975 despite a World Court ruling in favour of autonomy for the territory.

UN efforts to resolve the situation have stalled since Morocco refused a plan drawn up by its special envoy, former US secretary of state James Baker.

The UN Security Council unanimously backed last year the so-called Baker plan under which Western Sahara would enjoy a large degree of autonomy during a five-year transition period followed by a referendum on self-rule.

Moratinos said the resolution should be finished so it could be considered by the Security Council at meeting scheduled later this month and allow UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's envoy to the region, Alvaro De Soto, to "create a new dynamic" in efforts to find a solution.

The issue has returned to the forefront after South Africa last month extended diplomatic recognition to Western Sahara, or the Sahrawi Republic of Western Sahara.

Speaking during a visit to Tunisia on Wednesday, South African President Thabo Mbeki said it was the UN that would need to take the lead in solving the issue of Western Sahara.

"We are all in agreement of leaving the problem of Western Sahara in the hands of the secretary general of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan," said Mbeki.

The question of Western Sahara has strained relations between Morocco and neighbor Algeria, which backed the Polisario Front movement seeking independence for the territory bordering the Atlantic between Mauritania and Morocco.

 

Palestinians react to death of Peres

Syrian army retakes rebel-held Aleppo district

UN Libya envoy warns against ‘political impasse’

Morocco finally adopts Amazigh as official language

Saudi petition seeks 'full' rights for women

Poverty takes toll in rebel-held Yemen fishing village

Kerry threatens to end negotiations with Russia on Syria

Kuwaiti court scraps petrol price hike

Iraq requests more US troops to take on IS in Mosul

Airstrikes hit hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo

Iran nuclear chief says not worried about Trump

Iranian, Italian ships hold manoeuvres in Strait of Hormuz

Gunmen kill three Egypt policemen, civilian in Sinai

Turkey says 32,000 coup suspects awaiting trial

Paris to host international meeting on Libya

Etihad plane in emergency landing in Abu Dhabi

Struggling Saudi Oger lays off 1,300 staff

Israel ex-PM to serve 27 months for graft

Syrian kids return to school in Manbij

World Bank releases $300 million for Syrian refugees in Jordan

Iranian FM in Ankara for Syria talks

Israeli ex-president Peres dies

Oil prices post marginal gains

Russia tries to strongarm US with Aleppo assault

Jordan vows crackdown on online incitement

Assad, Russia press intense Aleppo assault

Iran's Ahmadinejad says will not run for president

Boris Johnson dismisses Erdogan goat poem as 'trivia'

Turkey dismisses 87 spy agency staff over failed coup

Egypt recovers sunken boat, more bodies

Israel's Peres 'fighting for his life'

Bombings kill at least seventeen in Baghdad

Netanyahu chooses diplomacy in US election

Iran sets conditions for joining terror finance taskforce

Who is the destroyer of Timbuktu shrines?

Israel to charge Lieberman party officials in graft probe

Egypt detains owner of capsized migrant vessel

Countless bombings in Baghdad’s Karrada since 2003 US-led invasion

Clinton, Trump clash in fiery first presidential debate

Moroccan gets death threat messages over cartoon posted by killed Jordanian

Saudi king unveils austerity drive

Israel prosecutor general denies going easy on PM

Iran frees Iranian-Canadian academic

Supplies dwindle, strikes intensify in Syria's Aleppo

Rebels, civilians quit Homs under deal with regime